iLEAD Lancaster facilitator and learner

MLN & iLEAD Leaders Share Words of Deep Appreciation for Facilitators

Author: | Category: Spotlights

May is National Teacher Appreciation Month. The hope at the Maker Learning Network and iLEAD Schools is that our educational facilitators, along with all staff, are truly appreciated every day. We recently asked school leaders to share their reflections on the phenomenal work our facilitators do every day. Here are their thoughts:

What do you appreciate about your facilitators?

“I’m always amazed by the dedication, creativity and caring our facilitators bring to their classrooms (virtually and in person) every day. This year in particular, I’m really appreciative of the flexibility and courage that our facilitators — and all staff — showed us as they shifted to distance learning with grace and empathy.”
— Dawn Evenson, Founder & CEO, iLEAD California

“Their passion and dedication to their learners’ success.”
— Erin Jones, Director, iLEAD Online

“Our facilitators have a heart for families looking for an out-of-the-box education. They are dedicated to supporting each learner and customizing a special learning plan for each learner on their roster based on their passions, interests and needs.”
— Heather Ferenc, Codirector, iLEAD Exploration

“Their collaboration with one another to make sure they’re meeting learners where they are and collectively supporting them. Between awesome projects, clubs, and events, our team has really done a lot to create a great year for the learners.”
— Malaka Donovan, Director, Empower Generations

“I really appreciate their willingness to go the extra mile. In this last year, we’ve faced some serious challenges. Facilitators worked hard to make adjustments to support all their learners.”
— Dawn Roberson, Director, iLEAD Antelope Valley

“Our facilitators are extraordinary as individuals and as grade-level team players. They are all extremely dedicated to their craft and passionate about meeting their learners where they are individually.”
— Nessa Roffredo, Director, SCVi Lower School

“I appreciate how thoughtful, creative, encouraging and caring they are! They collaborate and work together in teams (pods) to support one another, and they also provide awesome suggestions on ways to improve our program. They take great care of their families, demonstrating great devotion to them.”
— Lara Durrell, Codirector, iLEAD Exploration

“They are the hardest-working group ever. I appreciate their flexibility, their dedication to learners and their caring hearts.”
— Nykole Kent, Director, iLEAD Lancaster

“I really appreciate the support they provide to each other, the family environment they foster, their hard work and their dedication.”
— Wendy Ruiz, Director of Early Childhood Education, Little iLEADers

“Everything they do.”
— Lisa Latimer, Director, iLEAD Agua Dulce

“WorldOver facilitators are creative, innovative and experts. They are amazing with the learners’ Presentations of Learning. CSA facilitators are dedicated to their learners, as well as kind, caring and innovative.”
— Anne Wodetzki, Director, WorldOver International School; Transition Administrator, Colorado SKIES Academy

“I truly appreciate their diligence, dedication and empathy.”
— DJ Adams, Director, Alaka’i O Kaua’i

“My facilitators are creative, flexible and invested in their learners.”
— Sarah Hawley, Director, iLEAD Spring Meadows

“Dedication, personalization, bonds and relationships with learners; creating a community of and for learning where everyone feels welcomed and supported.”
— Angie Nastovska, Director of Humanities & Innovation, iLEAD California

How have your facilitators inspired you, especially this past year?

“This year, there were many opportunities to step out of their comfort zones. That courage is always inspiring. Brené Brown says, ‘That’s what life is about: about daring greatly, about being in the arena,’ and this is what our facilitators do every day.”
— Dawn Evenson

“Their genuine smiles, positive energy, and passion for caring have allowed me to breathe through this crazy roller coaster of a year! I could not have done it without them!”
— Nicole Padovich, Director, SCVi Upper School

“They have remained resilient, encouraging, positive and flexible in the midst of the pandemic and ongoing legislation. They show so much love to their families and one another.”
— Lara Durrell

“My facilitators have inspired me to work harder and perfect my craft, and it encourages me to want to continue to grow with them as a leader.”
— Nykole Kent

“Whatever was needed, they were willing. Driving to learners’ homes to drop off supplies and listening to parent concerns long after work hours are just a couple of the many examples. They did not give up.”
— Dawn Roberson

“Our facilitators have dealt with more challenges, adversity and changes than any ever before. I see them exhausted and hurting, yet day after day, they get up off the mat and bring their best to their learners. And in a time where quality would be expected to diminish, I’ve seen new ideas, innovation and compassion for their learners flow like never before. It is truly inspiring.”
— Matt Watson, Director of Maker Outreach, iLEAD California

What have your facilitators taught you?

“Our facilitators have taught me that no matter what, together we can go further.”
— Dawn Evenson

“Our facilitators have taught me to persevere and embrace new experiences. They have modeled to always show up for learners with a positive attitude.”
— Nessa Roffredo

“Facilitators have taught me to listen first, comb your hair before a Zoom meeting and trust them to lead in my absence.”
— Anne Wodetzki

“They have truly taught me to embrace a fail-forward growth mind-set.”
DJ Adams

“To be a good listener. Everyone has a story to share and something amazing to bring to our team. I appreciate each and every one of them.”
— Malaka Donovan

“They have taught me the art of patience and grace.”
— Nykole Kent

“Learners matter the most! All day every day in every situation. Their voices and well-being are crucial to and for everything we do.”
— Angie Nastovska

Any final comments?

“Especially this year, I have seen our facilitators be more than just “teachers” sharing information. This year even more than ever, I have seen our facilitators become coaches, encouragers, confidants, dream-pushers. They have worked so hard to find new ways to keep kids engaged and happy.”
— Nicole Padovich

“I could not be prouder of our facilitators. This year only brought us closer.”
— Wendy Ruiz

“There just aren’t words to describe how much I appreciate our team and their perseverance through this very difficult past year!”
— Sarah Hawley

“iLEAD is special because of the people. Ever since the founding year, our staff — including facilitators — have rolled up their sleeves, collaborated, kept learners at the center of the conversation and created an educational system that is inclusive, accepting, engaging, empowering and just downright magical. We wouldn’t be here without everyone’s collective talents and willingness to give their heart and soul to make iLEAD a unique and happy place.”
— Dawn Evenson

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